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Marvin Lewis news conference transcript

Initial comments...

*            *"When you watch the tape of yesterday's game, it's still the same. It comes out the same way. It was a poor start defensively. Offensively, our failure to convert the third downs ended up being huge in the first part of the game. There are things execution-wise that we have to continue to work hard at on offense.

"We had some opportunities to convert (third downs),  and we don't make the play. We've got to do a better job of that. Other than the penalties, I think we converted three first downs on penalties. Literally on the day we were three-of-10, so that's not quite good enough. You're not going to win many football games when you're three-of-10 and you have three turnovers, particularly the two turnovers when they were.

"We were getting back in the football game at 20-10 with 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, and really didn't play well that series either, and they went down the field and scored, and then we fumbled the kickoff, so now we're back down 24 points quickly. We started to play better, and make plays on defense, but we didn't make any plays on that series. It kind of got echoed on both sides of the football. There's a lot to learn from, so we'll move forward."

 How much of your message to guys today is as much about responding to the other team kind of hitting you in the mouth as opposed to the mistakes that were made?

*  *"Well, you've been the one hitting in the mouth, and now you've been hit. It's time to respond."

Was that something that you would have liked to have seen them do better as far as responding to that?

*            *"We had a lot of good things in the football game, obviously not nearly enough, but there were a lot of positive plays, but not enough of them strung together to make a big enough difference, particularly at the key times. There's things to learn from and things to build upon in a lot of ways, but more importantly a lot of things to correct, and make sure that we all just stay calm and play through the moment."

Do you think that a guy missing a tackle or a big play opportunity missed was kind of like a virus that just started spreading?

*            *"I don't know all the medical terms. It wasn't good whatever they were."

 Brandon Tate did not have a good night. It was his former team. It was his birthday. Was he trying to do too much?

*            *"Do too much how?"

 Making some questionable decisions on returns...

*            *"When he runs across the field, the return is designed to go across the field. Secondly, he made good decisions on returns. He's coached very well on when we want him to bring the ball out and when not to, based on the hang and so forth. He actually made pretty good decisions last night. Brandon's not blocking the guys. We've got to get the guys blocked as well. But he's got to hold on to the ball. At the end of the day, we can't have a fumble."

 Are you getting what you want out of Geno Atkins?

*            *"I thought Geno did a pretty good job last night in the run game. He really did. That was a good thing to see. It's really the first time he's been pressed with double-teams and things like that, and tags and slips, a lot of intricacies of the run game that happened in there. That was good to see. And the fact that he wanted to be in there in the fourth quarter, still slugging it out in there with them, when he knew they were going to be running the football. So, that was good."

 Really tough for a guy and almost hard to believe for Sean Porter, first play. Do you have any update on him?

*            *"I don't."

What did you learn and what will you focus on this week heading into your game with Carolina?

*            *"We'll just go back and focus on better execution, the first thing I said when I walked in here. In all three areas we've got to do a better job. We've got to do a better job, we've got to get to the right spots, right fits with things on offense. We've got to make sure we're consistent up front. We've got to be consistent in the pass game. We've got to run through grabs and holds, and so forth, and we've got to be efficient with that, and with the quarterback, continue to read the progression out."

 Did New England do anything differently in terms of their personnel groups and formations that confused you?

*            *"No, they didn't. You know you're going to get some combinations of the three tight ends, two tight end combinations, when they paired 81 and 87 together, or when they paired 87 and 47. They didn't do anything really different than we expected with the three wide sets, and so forth. They stayed pretty true to form that way."

 Was it more of just a lack of communication?

*            *"We've got to do our jobs better."

 They seemed to run it better last night. Was that gap stuff or just their offensive line dictating how they wanted to play?

*            *"Well, we've got to do a better job."

 How much of it was their tempo and how can it be a learning experience?

*            *"We worked hard on their tempo, but we've got to do a better job. You guys expect me to say more, but you know it's not going to happen (Laughs). We lost the football game. We've got to go back to work. That's what it is. We've got to chisel down and go."

 If you look at New England's tape with Bill Belichick from last week, and now this game with you, it's the same deal. Will you respond like they did?

*            *"We've got to respond like they did. We've got to go win the football game."

Will you consider looking into any kickers, or are you okay with Mike Nugent right now?

*            *"Yeah, I'm fine with Mike. Mike had a good hit (on 52-yard try that fell short). That ball got knocked down (by the wind). It was incredible how it got knocked down right there. When you guys start looking at your tape, you'll see (Kevin) Huber give him a high-five because he knows it's a good hit, but it got knocked down. It was just one of those Ripley's gusts of wind that came up and knocked the ball down right at the end."

Normally he has plenty of leg...

*            *"Yeah."

From a special teams aspect, they had a big upper hand in field position most of the game, didn't they?

*            *"No, not actually. If you look at it, we covered punts pretty well. Kevin (Huber) didn't hit the one ball well, but we got a penalty on it which set them back. We covered the kickoffs that we had to cover when they brought them out, we covered pretty well. We need to do better in the return game. No question about that. That's the thing that we want to see more. We hit the first one well, and we just have to make sure we're consistent, and we get everybody else blocked in the first one. We've got to finish a little better, and we may even get the return out there a little further than we got it. Obviously their field goal kicker had a little better night than ours, with kicking his field goals with the opportunities he had."

I guess you have to factor turnovers in the equation?

*            *"Yeah, you miss the field goal, which is like another turnover when you give them the ball at the 40-something yard line. That's part of it as well. That hurts us. If I would've known we were going to miss the field goal, I might as well have punted and put it inside the 10. You don't get that chance to second guess."

It's no secret what Adam Jones can do as a punt returner. The more you see it and how hot he's been this year, do you try and find more ways to get him in there?

*            *"Guys earn opportunity by making sure they know we can trust them to do everything the right way all the time. There's a lot of that that goes in that. He continues to a very good job, and we'll keep giving him opportunity, as he had again last night. He can usually make that first guy miss, and then good things can happen. Brandon does a nice job with his opportunities, so we've just got to keep it going, and keep working hard at it, and we'll continue to make bigger plays in that area."

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